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Press Release

August 8, 2003

Frances Marine
(850) 245-0413

Education Commissioner Jim Horne Announces Florida’s Results Under Federal No Child Left Behind Act

TALLAHASSEE — Commissioner of Education Jim Horne today announced Florida’s results under the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act. The federal law requires states to evaluate the performance of students in all public schools in order to determine whether specific groups of students (such as ethnic minorities) made “adequate yearly progress” (AYP).

Florida students are improving at three and four times the national average on national tests. Even with these gains, many Florida schools did not make AYP. The majority of schools missed making AYP because of not meeting the state targets in only 1-5 of the 45 groups. If one group in a school does not make AYP, the entire school does not make it. Out of approximately 3,000 schools in Florida, over 400 made AYP.

"Even a high performing school has room for improvement," said Commissioner Horne. "The high standards Florida has set under Governor Bush's A+ Plan and our ability to track individual student progress have improved student achievement. No Child Left Behind's AYP measure simply sharpens our focus on improving education for specific groups of students."

Both A+ and No Child Left Behind measure student progress based on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT). We have seen dramatic improvement across the board on FCAT, with more students performing at grade level. The most impressive gains have been among minority students, who have improved their performance at more than twice the rate of other students.

“We are closing the achievement gap in our schools, and moving closer to our goal of every child reading at grade level by 2012,” said Governor Jeb Bush. “Our A+ Plan for education, backed by the new diagnostic view provided by NCLB standards, will help us get there.”

Title I schools (those receiving federal funding) that do not make AYP in two consecutive years are designated “in need of improvement.” For the 2003-04 school year, requirements for school improvement apply to the 48 Title I schools that received a grade of F in the 2001-02 school year under A+ and did not make AYP in 2002-03.

Students attending schools “in need of improvement” are eligible for public school choice options for the 2003-04 school year. Title I schools that do not make AYP for more than two consecutive years are required to provide additional services to students and to implement defined strategies for improving school performance.

For more information on Florida’s results under No Child Left Behind, please visit www.fldoe.org.